News | Eighteen Rabbit Fair Trade


Fair trade festival tips

by Louise Davies | June 17, 2013 | 0 Comments

The festival season will soon be upon us! We're looking forward to the excellent Green Man Festival just down the road from Hay in Crickhowell. If you're off to spend a weekend listening to good music in a field somewhere, here are some great fair trade items that might come in handy!

Where's my phone?!

Whether you're texting your pals to rendez-vous in the healing fields, or snapping your favourite band in the signing tent, you'll need your phone at your side at all times! This handy phone case can hang around your neck for easy access.

Hand made in Cambodia from recycled sacks. £10

Protect my head!

The folically challenged will know the importance of a sun hat and a bottle of factor 50 on a sunny day (here's hoping for sun!). These supercool hats protect your head and look great too.

Hand woven in Ecuador. £60.

Help! I've lost my can of Batiste!

Having a bad hair day? Just disguise it with these cool and colourful headbands. Available in a variety of prints, you'll be holding your head high!

Hand made in India. £15.

I need some luxury!

OK, it may be a bit 'Mariah Carey', but many jet-setters swear by scented candles to help them relax and feel comfortable whatever the setting. These small votive candles smell wonderful and will give you a few minutes relaxation before you head back to the dance tent.

Hand made in Thailand. £8.

Notice me!

These wolfpack tees will help you stand out in a crowd and are a great talking point. Perfect if you're going to see the Vaccines! Available in his n hers designs.

Made in eco factories in India. £25.

Tagged: cambodia, fair trade, festival, headband, panama, rapanui, votive

Fair trade vases from Thailand

by Andrew Williams | June 12, 2013 | 0 Comments

It's always great to be able to chat to people who come into the shop about the stories behind the products we sell. Every now and then we meet someone with a special insight into something we sell, and this was the case when Julie visited us over the Hay Festival. She explained that she had visited the Sang Arun factory where some of our ceramics are made on a trip to Thailand. Julie was good enough to send us a couple of photos of their trip. 



Julie wrote:

"Hello - you may remember I was in your shop on Bank Holiday Monday and talked to you about the Thai vases you had on display as we had visited the factory where they are made last summer. When I got home I had a look through the pictures from our holiday and thought you might be interested in seeing a couple from the Sang Arun factory - I've even got one of a lady making vases like the ones you  had on display! As you will see the factory is light and airy and all workers were wearing masks to protect them from the clay dust."

We're so grateful to Julie for taking the time to send these snaps to us, and it's amazing to see for ourselves that the vision we're working towards seems to be having a practical effect. A lot of people ask us whether we've visited all of the places where we source our products. Sadly that's not practical at the moment, but we hope to notch a few more off the list as we continue to grow. For now we work with groups and co-operatives as close to the ground as possible to ensure that there are as few steps as possible between us and the people producing the items. 

If you have any photos of fair trade products being produced around the world, any snaps of items you've bought from Eighteen Rabbit in their new homes or pictures of your visit to Hay on Wye, do send them in - there will be prizes for any we feature!

Tagged: ceramics, fair trade, hay on wye, Thailand

New from Nepal

by Louise Davies | March 13, 2013 | 0 Comments

We're now stocking a selection of stunning copper vases and bowls from the Association of Craft Producers (ACP). ACP is a not for profit, fair trade organisation providing support services to low-income Nepalese craft producers. ACP is a resource to advance and globally distribute their work, for which the producers receive fair wages and generous benefits.

In addition to fair wages, the consistent commitment from ACP and fair trade premium has empowered many of their female producers. For example, Nara Maya, a woman from eastern Nepal married young and never went to school. She struggled to sustain her family, until moving to Kathmandu and finding work with ACP. She is now trained in various skills and specialises in ceramics. ACP provide an allowance for her daughters to attend school. As ACP say:  "Today Nara Maya possesses multi skills. She earns much more than her husband's earning. The fact that she is contributing to the bread basket has done wonders for her self confidence and she is now an independent and confident woman".


Nara Maya Rai & Ram Devi Mali who work with ACP 

Using basic tools, ACP's producers from Palpa in Nepal create stunning works of hand-hammered copper. The producers have branched out from making utensils, storage pieces and jars to decorative items for the home, broadening their market and expanding their skills. 

Tagged: copper, fair trade, Nepal

Fairtrade Fortnight

by Andrew Williams | March 02, 2013 | 0 Comments

We're now halfway through Fairtrade Fortnight, an annual chance to celebrate the opportunities we have to buy fairly. There are great products available from a range of retailers, some of which (like coffee and tea) you'll be very familiar with, and others which are a bit more unusual. For some items it's easy to spot if they are fair trade - you can look for the Fairtrade logo when you're in the supermarket. For others, like a lot of the products we stock, it's more complicated. You may well ask why we don't insist that all of our products carry the Fairtrade logo, and we've tried to answer that here. 

For us, the key criteria is transparency. The people you buy from should be open and honest about where their products come from, and should be able to answer questions you have about how the people who created them are remunerated and treated. We have a detailed list of standards we apply to the products we buy, and also have a questionnaire we send to all prospective suppliers. 

We like to think this is going "beyond the logo" and building up a genuine, ongoing relationship with the artisans and craftspeople we are buying from. We have already visited some of our suppliers in person in Mexico and hope to meet more over the year ahead as time allows. Coming soon we have more exclusive lines from Argentina, Colombia and India. If you have any questions about any of the products we stock, please get in touch and we can tell you all we know. 

Tagged: 2013, fair trade, fairtrade fortnight

Love is in the air

by Andrew Williams | February 04, 2013 | 0 Comments

Valentine's Day - an opportunity to show the one you love how much you care, or just another "Hallmark Holiday" designed to keep the tills ringing after Christmas? It's easy to be cynical. After all, many of us will be opening some unwelcome credit card bills at the moment and the thought of splashing out on more gifts may harden the softest of hearts. 

If you live in Hay on Wye there are a number of options open to you to show the one you love you care without breaking the bank. Of course Hay is famous for books and our shop is opposite one of the amazing "honesty bookshops" around town. For anyone who hasn't seen these, they are covered shelving displays which are open to the public and unstaffed. If you see a book you like you simply pop the amount to pay in an honesty box on the wall. At 50p for paperbacks and £1 for hardbacks it's a real bargain. 

As you'd imagine there is a lot of chaff to wade through to get to the literary wheat, but if you have half an hour to spare you can find some incredible titles. A beautiful book of poetry published in 1871 for example - the idea of who might have owned this book, read it, perhaps given it as a gift themselves, is romantic enough. At a quid I think it would make a thoughtful and thought provoking gift for any young lovebirds.

Here are a few lines to give you a flavour (I've put it back now so if you're quick you may be able to snap it up). 

Of course if your budget stretches a little further we have some lovely gift ideas here at Eighteen Rabbit, from our incredible Cambodian jewellery to cool tee shirts to handmade scented candles. You don't have to spend a lot to show you care, and when you buy items which have been fairly traded you're ensuring that the love spreads beyond the gift you give to the people and families you are supporting. 

Tagged: books, cambodia, fair trade, hay castle, hay on wye, jewellery, valentine